Theresa May urged to appoint learning disability commissioner

The “shocking” case of a man with learning disabilities and terminal cancer has led to a call for the prime minister to appoint a commissioner for learning disabled people’s rights. Ian Shaw, 34, spent nine years in secure hospitals before being moved into community care last year. The cancer was found and his parents say the units should have spotted it.

Sir Stephen Bubb, author of two reports on secure units, has told Theresa May Ian’s case highlights ongoing failures. Sir Stephen told the BBC that Ian’s story was “all too typical”.

“It has led me to believe that institutional care is at root abusive and we must close these institutions.”

In his letter to Theresa May, he says that half of all deaths of people with a learning disability in 2015 were recorded as avoidable, “compared with 23% for the general population”.

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